crafts, Holidays, Tablescapes

Share Your Style #376

Good evening, everyone! Welcome to this week’s Share Your Style #376. It’s officially February and all things Valentines is on repeat!! Since we have a third day off from school tomorrow, I may actually get a Valentine’s Day post out for you. 🙂

This link party is for home decor, DIY, crafts, recipes and the like, but you are more than welcome to share any of your family-friendly posts with us all. Please feel free to share this post too and join my small but loyal band of friends. I appreciate you! I appreciate your subscribing, also. As always, I am glad that you are here… 💜

I am Barbara Chapman and I’d love it if you’d follow me here on my blog and on any of my other social media sites, too.  Thank you!💜 

French Ethereal: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest

My mother-in-law made it safely home from a month in California. She has been for home for about 10 days now and we got together over the weekend. We even went to our favorite thrift shop on Saturday, but didn’t find anything. That same day, I made a crockpot full of turkey meatballs in organic tomato sauce paired with cheese raviolis, plenty of leftovers.. Turned into a wonderful dinner. Yum!!!

We did better at Lowe’s as we scored some wonderful plant starts. I’ll share a post on the the things I found soon, but for now… It is too cold to be out in the shed working on potting up plants! At least for me. 😉

Well, let’s check out this week’s features, shall we?

Here’s what I shared this past week at French Ethereal…

Our Laundry Room Paint Refresh ~ a new look for the new year!

And here are this week’s featured posts…

Lynne from Thrifting Wonderland brings us her yearly Valentine’s Day table rendition ~
Start With Flowers Tablescape. Lovely!
white dinner plates
Karin at Karin’s Kottage shared a sweet post ~ Pink & Red Valentine’s Day Table for Kids. Perfect for sharing with her grands!
Amber from Follow the Yellow Brick Home shared a beautiful post to inspire us ~ Easy Vintage Valentine’s Day Cloche Display. Love all the sewing goodies!!
Sandra from Dinner at Eight shared her lovely tablescape here in this post ~ Valentine’s Day — A Table Set for Tea. Gorgeous!!!
Jeanie from The Marmelade Gypsy shared her post ~ And January Goes On! ~ all about what’s been going on up in her neck of the woods in Michigan. Check out the poor deer and what happened to him… A wonderful ending! 💜
house hunting tips
Pam from An Artful Mom brings us this post for anyone looking to buy a home this year ~ Our House and Some House Hunting Tips. Great ideas!!!
Penny from Penny’s Treasures rounds out this week’s featured posts with this adorable “pocket pillow” in her post ~ Valentine Dining Room Decor, Pocket Pillow and Snow.
Love this decorating craft idea!!

Thank You so much to everyone who linked up this past week. A special thank you to everyone for always promoting Share Your Style on your blog and on your social media channels! I do see it when I stop by and I appreciate the love. 💜

If you’d like to follow my Share Your Style board on Pinterest I’d appreciate it, thank you! I do post all of the featured posts from each week’s SYS there plus usually other photos from those posts to my boards. 💜  Thanks so much!!! If you are new to French Ethereal, I hope you will think about subscribing to my blog.

Happy linking, friends!

Barb 💜

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Holidays, Home Decor, Tablescapes

Share Your Style #375

Welcome to this week’s Share Your Style #375, dear friends! I’m excited to share all the cool features we have for you this week…

This link party is for home decor, DIY, crafts, recipes and the like, but you are more than welcome to share any of your family-friendly posts with us all. Please feel free to share this post too and join my small but loyal band of friends. I appreciate you! I appreciate your subscribing, also. As always, I am glad that you are here… 💜

I am Barbara Chapman and I’d love it if you’d follow me here on my blog and on any of my other social media sites, too.  Thank you!💜 

French Ethereal: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest

Can you believe we are coming to the end of January 2023 already? It was just New Year’s and now we are speeding towards Valentine’s Day! With that, I’ve chosen some wonderful Valentine ideas for you.

So let’s get to this week’s features!

***Quick update on Thursday morning: I fell fast asleep as I was writing this and putting together this week’s SYS features last evening, so… I’m finishing this morning and actually POSTING IT. Lol!

I took half a Benedryl yesterday around 11am because I guess I’m now allergic to Prednisone. Anyway, it knocks me out and so somewhere around 7:30p.m., I was out for the night. I did make it through the school day and the hives never fully erupted, but I still feel itchy…

Anyway, happy to get this Valentine’s-y post out for you! Plus a touch of football, too. <3

Here’s what I shared this past week at French Ethereal…

A Rosy Valentine’s Cake to Bake ~ part of this month’s Valentine’s recipes in our Pinterest Challenge.

And here are this week’s featured posts…

MaryJo of Master”Pieces” of My Life shared a bunch of beautiful tablescapes for inspiration at your own home in this post ~
Setting the Mood for a Valentine’s Day Tablescape. I loved this alfresco setting!
Penny from Penny’s Treasures shares this pretty in pink post ~ Vintage Valentines are the Stars of My Pink Valentine’s Tree. Love ’em!!! (I’m a sucker for pink!)
Lynne from Thrifting Wonderland shares winter whites in her winter cupboard ~ Winter Display in the Hutch. Love all the creamware!!!
Lynne from Thrifting Wonderland also brings us a couple of easy and fun crafts to make for Valentine’s Day. I can see this being so fun with kids!!! Our double feature for this week ~ Two Quick Valentine’s Crafts.
Chocolate Rice Krispies Treats are turned into Football Rice Krispie Treats for game day! They’re a chocolate treat base cut into football shapes then dipped in chocolate with white laces piped onto resemble footballs. This easy, no-bake dessert is perfect for tailgating, football parties, playoff games, and Superbowl parties. Game day desserts are the best part about game day foods so these are a must make dessert recipe! #gamedayfood #footballfood #ricekrispietreats #glutenfree #nobakedessert
Newcomer Shay from What the Fork shares this easy peasy recipe for
Football Rice Krispie Treats! Perfect for this weekend’s big Super Bowl Game!!!
20-valentines-day-ideas-table-crafts-decor
Debbee from Debbee’s Buzz shares her fun post (love all her tablescapes!) featuring
20 Sweet Valentine’s Day Ideas. Love it!!!
Hawaiian style pork spare ribs with pineapple served on a plate with fresh berries and yellow rice
Newcomer Arlene from Flour on My Face brings us her yummy recipe for
Sweet & Tangy Crock Pot Hawaiian BBQ Ribs. Seriously delicious!!!
Last up for this week we have Meagan from Decorative Inspirations with her sweet post ~ How to Make a Salt Dough Garland. Love it!!!

Thank You so much to everyone who linked up this past week. A special thank you to everyone for always promoting Share Your Style on your blog and on your social media channels! I do see it when I stop by and I appreciate the love. 💜

If you’d like to follow my Share Your Style board on Pinterest I’d appreciate it, thank you! I do post all of the featured posts from each week’s SYS there plus usually other photos from those posts to my boards. 💜  Thanks so much!!! If you are new to French Ethereal, I hope you will think about subscribing to my blog.

Happy linking!

Barb 🙂

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Holidays, Pinterest Challenge, Recipes

A Rosy Valentine’s Cake to Bake

Happy Almost Valentine’s Day, dear friends! If you are coming over for the first time from Carol’s place ~ Bluesky at Home, welcome to my blog, French Ethereal! Our host Cindy from County Road 407 has graciously allowed me to jump in last minute. I had Covid over the past couple of weeks and so happily I feel great now (those vaccines DO work!). I was excited when Cindy gave us our assignment this month to create a simple Valentine’s Day recipe.

Here is mine…

Yes, I used one box cake recipe and it turned out moist, chocolatey and delicious!!

I do make a lot of scratch cakes but this time it was all about making it easy! When we get so busy with life, a simple box cake is the easy way out, my friends.

Just like the box cakes my mother used to bake during my childhood, and I’d sometimes make for my own family, these are basically NO FAIL Betty Crocker and others are tried and true.

Easy peasy, as Cindy herself likes to say!

This baking center is inside our kitchen island. Ever since our first house, I’ve loved putting all of our baking things in one area! So convenient. How about you? Where do you store your baking goodies? What do you put in your kitchen island?

Which cake pan to use?

I have 8″ heart-shaped pans, which I have used in the past, and I have smaller heart-shaped tart tins, too. However, I thought it would be beautiful and fun to our rose bundt pan.

All of the years I was in the Victorian Tea Society in Riverside County, California, I had a couple of friends who had rose pans and their cakes looked so chic when dessert was served.

I was soooo excited when I found one a couple of years ago! It really turns out a stunning cake.

Just spray baking spray all over the inside, add some flour inside and tap it all around and into the grooves of the pan. Dump the excess flour out, bake at the prescribed temperature, and after 42 minutes baking in the oven, this cake was done!

And that’s all there is to this Rosy Valentine’s Cake! If you are starting here with me, we circle back up to Cindy at County Road 407. I know you will love Cindy’s Valentine’s Day extremely cute cherry pastry envelopes recipe idea! Adorable!!! <3

Don’t forget to follow the trail of posts below to see all the great recipes from today’s participants. Lots of fun ideas to create!!

More fun Valentine’s posts to enjoy…

If you’d like to check out some of my past Valentine’s ideas, here are a few to enjoy…

Happy touring, dear friends!

Barb 🙂

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crafts, Holidays, Home Decor

Share Your Style #374

Welcome to this week’s Share Your Style #374, dear friends! As we come to the middle of January, we have lots of great features to share, including some Valentine’s ideas!

This link party is for home decor, DIY, crafts, recipes and the like, but you are more than welcome to share any of your family-friendly posts with us all. Please feel free to share this post too and join my small but loyal band of friends. I appreciate you! I appreciate your subscribing, also. As always, I am glad that you are here… 💜

I am Barbara Chapman and I’d love it if you’d follow me here on my blog and on any of my other social media sites, too.  Thank you!💜 

French Ethereal: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest

It’s always amazing to me how quickly Valentine’s sneaks up on us on what feels like just a few short weeks after Christmas and New Year’s Days. I personally am still putting away Christmas decorations but only because Mr. Ethereal hung a new I-beam style system of 4x4s from over our garage door.

Going up and down from the attic to retrieve boxes was getting to be a chore, and also a little unsafe. Both of us are over 60 years of age and falling out of the attic space is always a real possibility. Critters ate through a few things, too, which ticked my husband off so he brought EVERYTHING down from above to clean, repair, throw away, and to find new homes in the shed, in this new hanging rail system, or to be given away.

So, I am reboxing ALL of our spring, summer, fall and winter decorations into tidy, black and yellow Big Box store boxes. Ugly colors (to me) but they do hang well and are very sturdy. The used boxes will store something new, go to my mother-in-law’s garage to rebox things she wishes to store, or be given away.

But in all of this, I am finding beautiful things to put in our hutch and onto our mantel to share hopefully soon. 🙂

While doing this, let’s check out our features, shall we?

Here’s what I shared this past week at French Ethereal…

Arctic Blast & Indoor Plant Overwintering, Production & Shed Insulating ~ prepping the garden to survive single digits (our thermometer registered -1 F. as the lowest temperature we had in our backyard). Also, this is a look at my first attempt at seed production. Hope you will take a look!
Sick at Home ~ Turns out I’ve had a third round of Covid, dear friends! I am thankfully feeling better and on an anti-viral, an antibiotic and a steroid. This particular strain of Covid tends towards bronchitis and not pneumonia, which is yucky but better for all. 🙂

And here are this week’s featured posts…

Our first feature this week is from Debra of Common Ground. She shares winter whites in her post ~ Neutral Winter Dining Room with Paperwhites. Lovely!!!
Debra‘s post ~ Winter Whites Tabletop Vignette ~ is our double header this week.
Pom~Pom and Heart Valentine Garland
Carol from Bluesky at Home brings us this crafty post ~ Make a DIY Pom-Pom & Heart Valentine Garland. Sweet!!!
Linda Kilsdonk from Paperseedlings shares her 1 year self-challenge to paint 365 birds. Come check out the beautiful birds she has drawn and painted! ~ #365birds November 2022.
CoCo from The Crowned Goat shares 52 Weeks to a Simplified & Organized Home Challenge. Good thoughts to get us all going! 🙂
Penny from Penny’s Treasures brings us her family’s Winter Family Room 2023. Love all of the pink with white!
Red Cashmere Sweater with Printed Skirt
Jennifer from Curated by Jennifer shares her winter fashion post ~
Red Cashmere Sweater with Printed Skirt. Perfect for upcoming
Valentine’s wearing!
big red chicken under the banner of how to take care of chickens
Charlene from The Secret Life of Homesteaders shares good advice on How to Take Care of Chickens. Love this!! I have always wanted to keep chickens, if only I could get Mr. Ethereal to agree. 🙂
Emily from Hunny I’m Home DIY shares what to do with those waiting-to-be-used jar lids in her post ~ Rustic Farmhouse Mason Jar Lid Wreath. Easy and pretty!

Thank You so much to everyone who linked up this past week. A special thank you to everyone for always promoting Share Your Style on your blog and on your social media channels! I do see it when I stop by and I appreciate the love. 💜

If you’d like to follow my Share Your Style board on Pinterest I’d appreciate it, thank you! I do post all of the featured posts from each week’s SYS there plus usually other photos from those posts to my boards. 💜  Thanks so much!!! If you are new to French Ethereal, I hope you will think about subscribing to my blog.

Happy Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday week!

Barb 🙂

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Christmas, Holidays, Home Decor, Recipes

Share Your Style #373

Welcome to this week’s Share Your Style #373, dear friends!! Sorry this is going up a day late, but I HAD to get a big project done for our Odd Fellows lodge. It’s mostly done, my writing hand is very tired, but it’s just about ready to turn over (the project, that is). So, let’s hop into our features!!!

This link party is for home decor, DIY, crafts, recipes and the like, but you are more than welcome to share any of your family-friendly posts with us all. Please feel free to share this post too and join my small but loyal band of friends. I appreciate you! I appreciate your subscribing, also. As always, I am glad that you are here… 💜

I am Barbara Chapman and I’d love it if you’d follow me here on my blog and on any of my other social media sites, too.  Thank you!💜 

French Ethereal: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest

Here’s what I shared this past week at French Ethereal…

Sunday Sentiments ~ Our Mary Had a Little Lamb Mantel – and why I chose this title. 🙂

Have you taken down your Christmas displays yet? I always find it a little sad but it is nice to have a clean slate for doing some winter whites in our living room. I’ll share how it looks now with you soon.

I know many of you are still celebrating the 12 days of Christmas with the Festival of Kings, until January 6th, when traditionally the Wise Men showed up to greet the baby Jesus, so there might be a few Christmas posts featured here again. 🙂

Let’s dig in!

And here are this week’s featured posts…

First up this week, we have Debra from Common Ground‘s beautiful hutch filled with Christmas pretties ~ Gathered for Christmas in the Holiday Cupboard.
So pretty!!!
Debbie from Debbie-Dabble Blog shares her holiday cupboard and living room in Christmas finery ~ A Thomas Kincade Tree, Village and the China Cupboard in the Den. You might enjoy her Christmas at Nelson Crest post, too!
new-years-eve-tablesetting-ideas
Our third friend, also named Debbee from Debbee’s Buzz, shared a lovely New Year’s Eve Tablesetting Ideas ~ Isn’t this penguin just the cutest?!!
Chili Mac and cheese recipe
We need something to put on all of our dinner tables this winter! Newcomer
Michelle from The Wooden Spoon Effect brings us a yummy recipe called
Simple Chili Mac Recipe. Perfect for our chilly winter weather! Welcome Michelle!! We are glad you are here. <3
penguin craft image collage with the words penguin name craft
Our second newcomer Sam from Simple Everyday Mom shared this really cute idea to make with your kids and grands!!! Welcome to you as well, Sam!!
So happy you found us here at French Ethereal!
New Year’s Eve In the Smoky Mountains
Vera from Veravise brings us a little New Year’s Eve in the Smoky Mountains ~ great place to visit, if you’ve never been there! This is where I went for my nephew’s wedding a year-and-a-half ago Memorial Day weekend.

And that’s it for this week, friends! A great bunch of holiday and supper recipe ideas, if you haven’t checked out last week’s SYS entries. I love looking back at your ideas and picking something to cook or bake, thank you. <3

Thank You so much to everyone who linked up this past week. A special thank you to everyone for always promoting Share Your Style on your blog and on your social media channels! I do see it when I stop by and I appreciate the love. 💜

If you’d like to follow my Share Your Style board on Pinterest I’d appreciate it, thank you! I do post all of the featured posts from each week’s SYS there plus usually other photos from those posts to my boards. 💜  Thanks so much!!! If you are new to French Ethereal, I hope you will think about subscribing to my blog.

Happy January, y’all!

Barb 🙂

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Christmas, Holidays, Home Decor

Sunday Sentiments ~ Our Mary Had a Little Lamb Woodland Mantel

Mary had a little lamb, its fleece was white as snow… Just a lovely nursery rhyme… Today I’m sharing our Christmas mantel and the crazy mishmash of putting it together. Definitely a layering! ~ it took several weeks to put together into what it is now.

Of course I know it is after Christmas now, but I thought you’d enjoy seeing our mantel anyway.

Have you ever had the realization that this sweet nursery rhyme, Mary Had a Little Lamb, could be allegorical? It occurred to me here at Christmastime, that this rhyme could be saying much more…

[His] fleece was white as snow. From a Biblical perspective, Jesus was sinless; he was pure as new-fallen snow.


knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.

Source: https://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/Jesus-Christ,-Sinlessness

1 Peter 1:18-19

Everywhere the child went, the lamb was sure to go… Okay, maybe this part, isn’t so allegorical, but… Then again, everywhere we (humanity) go, the Lamb, is sure to follow. Meaning that Jesus follows us, that He is interested in us. He is concerned about our welfare!

There is more to this nursery rhyme and I don’t feel those lines are very allegorical, but for me this first stanza is.

I just thought I’d share that here on our first Sunday in the new year…

And I am sorry I haven’t written more about my faith this past year.

Confession time:

I visited several churches when we first moved to Texas and I was enjoying a church up in Sanger a lot. Living in our Prairie Home, our big RV, I went with several friends to this church on Monday evenings for a community dinner. Then I went to a couple of Sunday services and I was enjoying going.

One Sunday, there was a thing which happened which kinda freaked me out since I was feeling really insecure and vulnerable living in an RV and still feeling very homeless, plus being new to Texas… One of the people who used to live in the RV park shouted out my name before the service began, in the middle of the sanctuary, and I felt all eyes on me. She has little tact, and I hate saying this, but it is true.

It wasn’t good and I was mortified! I never went back because I felt called out.

I don’t know if you are secretly very quiet and private, but I often am. And though I blog, I don’t always share everything, and I think that’s how most bloggers are. Maybe I am wrong on this, do let me know!

More Type B than Type A, really.

Our new nativity found at Hobby Lobby a couple of years ago, before the other crash-landed.

Anyway, all that is to say that I haven’t been too keen on visiting more churches. It’s an excuse, I know.

I visit my old church, Calvary Chapel of Murrieta, from California online, still read Christian literature and donate to charities and read my Bible. I pray all the time for our students and for the safety of our school, our community, our home, my family.

My mother-in-law introduced me to her old church in Sacramento, which also has an on-line presence. Covid was good for getting churches and worksites to get online!

She flew out to California for Christmas and with Southwest Airline’s computer system crash, and her flight back to Texas cancelled… She decided to extend her stay. She needed a good visit home… <3

She didn’t get the extra year to adjust to moving out of her house of 57 years like we did when we lived at Lake Skinner.

Anyway, I just feel hypocritical, so… That’s why I haven’t written many Sunday Sentiments in a long time. Maybe you are experiencing something similar? Let me know. <3

But I plan on writing more of them as part of my New Year’s resolution, as it were. 🙂


Our old Kirkland nativity (post from which this photograph was pulled) which was unbroken until a year ago. I am going to try to use car bonding to see if I can put back each figure. This very much mirrors what happened to a Nativity figure in Jan Karon’s book, Shepherds Abiding.
This older nativity’s statues were more than 12″.

I love Christmas, and nativities!!!

My mother-in-law loves them, too, and has quite a nativity collection! My own mother had a lovely old wooden creche and nativity she put out each year. One of my brothers has it now, I’m sure.

Sadly, when Mr. Ethereal was putting ours away last year, the 34-year-old box just disintegrated while he was holding it, and the foam inside fell out. The Wise Men and Joseph shattered.

We swept up all of the pieces, even tiny parts, all that we could see, and they were lovingly put into a clean shoebox.

I just haven’t had the heart to sort through the pieces and begin trying to glue them together.

So we needed a new nativity! I found a nice one, a bit smaller, at Hobby Lobby so this is what I featured on our mantel this season. This one is about 3/4 of the size of the old Kirkland one.

Choosing a nativity is such a personal thing, isn’t it?

I saw some really pretty ones at The Christmas Place in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, when my daughter and I were there for my niece’s wedding.

Putting our Woodland Mantel together

So, getting back to how this mantel came together, it really began with the two outlying grapevine trees. I found them on sale at Hobby Lobby in early October when I went in search of a couple of papier mâché pumpkins to craft (a project for 2023!).

Hubby brought down a few Christmas boxes for me when I was prepping for November’s Pinterest Challenge putting together the Christmas tree and when I was making the little Salt & Pepper Snowman.

In those few boxes, I found the vintage style Santa tins and I added the Norman Rockwell tin I found around Thanksgiving time at a thrift shop here in Denton. Gini and I were creating gift baskets for the IOOF poker tournament fundraiser and there it was, waiting!

The little fuzzy reindeer I found at JC Penney on Black Friday with Hubby. They were so cute! I had to bring them home. 😉

It really was a mishmash put together over several months and somehow it all works…

Really not a surprise when you think of Whom watches over us… 🙂

On another note…

Have you seen The Chosen? It is a crowd-funded show about the life of Jesus from the Apostles’ perspective. I really enjoy the series and to me, it’s a really cool show!

It is Biblically based with ideas of what things the characters as real people would have talked about, in addition to portraying real events which happened during the lifetime of Jesus (and beyond, with the apostles) some 2000 years ago.

Much of what is said is straight out of scripture, and the actors who portray Jesus, Mother Mary, and the others, give their best performances. You can really feel God’s presence behind their portrayals!

Plus, I like that the actors are from all faiths and ethnic backgrounds! They make the show and Jesus so much more real.

My mother-in-law introduced us to the series last winter while she was staying with us.

I think you’ll like it! (That’s my plug). 🙂

New Year 2023

Work for me is going really well. I am enjoying working in a middle school library full time getting to share favorite books with our students, giving advice and counsel as needed. I got approval for a scholarship to teach needlework to students after school; I just need to put together a purchase order for supplies. Our librarian and I are already staying late on every other Tuesday working with these girls and boys. I love seeing how eager they are to learn!

Mr. Ethereal has his own changes with work coming, so that will be a big change for us in this new year. Not my favorite thing, as you probably know… But, Life is always changing so it is nice to find solace here with you.

I appreciate you for this!!! And I thank you for your friendship. <3

Happy New Year, dear friends,

Barb 🙂

Christmas, Holidays, Home Decor, Tablescapes

Our Christmas Table, Our Christmas Hutch, and A Little Weather…*<:)

Merry Christmas, dear friends!!! No Share Your Style this week as I was just too busy prepping for the Arctic freeze on Tuesday and Wednesday, which blew in all over America. I hope you are faring well where you are and keeping warm!

We are enjoying a bit of relaxation with our daughter who drove in from Austin, Texas after work a couple of nights ago. Mr. Ethereal is off this week and next from work, as am I.

Later in this post, I will share our yard and how I used almost every spare brick we have to pin down sheets, blankets and frost blankets from the big box stores to keep our baby garden nice and warm, but…

Right now, I am sharing our table set for Christmas dinner!

What I used:

  • metal serving plates as placemats (link to the post where I painted them)
  • large Wedgwood Sarah’s Garden plates as chargers
  • Royal Doulton’s Old Country roses dinner plates, cup and saucer
  • white handled silverware found at Judith’s Christmas Sale last year
  • Old Country Roses Chintz pattern tea set on a thrifted silver serving tray (EEK!! I think I might croak at the price to replace this teapot! $399.00!!)
  • Christmas tree red checked tablecloth and napkins (found separately) at Home Goods
  • Christmas cactus as our centerpiece
  • Red & white striped fabric ornaments found at Hobby Lobby (much more affordable!)

* none of this is sponsored, but I thought you might like to know where you can shop for these goodies!

This was especially fun to set!

Just like over Thanksgiving, we actually used this tablescape for our Christmas dinner today for lunch.

I cooked Aunt Nellie’s pot roast with added carrots and red potatoes. YUM! ;)’

Aunt Nellie’s Pot Roast

“Use a rump roast or watermelon roast.” Ours was something else but turned out just fine. 🙂

“Put tenderizer on it, then poke it and rub tenderizer over it.”

I didn’t put on tenderizer (does anyone anymore?? I think it’s a health thing) to this roast (never liked it), but I did poke it all over with the carving set fork and then used an English Rub I picked up in Fort Worth at the Stockyards a couple of years ago. Turned out great with all the herbs and spices!

“Cook in a cast iron skillet, cook dry for 1 hour at 275 deg. F. After an hour, put in water (2 1/2 cups) and turn up the oven to 350 degrees. Cook about 1 1/2 hours more (3 lb. roast).”

I put in about 3 cups of water, or maybe a bit more, and the veggies added their own water so a lot was leftover in the pan to make gravy. 😀 When I added the water, that’s when I added the pre-cut potatoes and carrots. They cooked up absolutely perfectly! Soft but not over soft.

“Drippings should be almost dry (normally with 2 1/2 c. water used) and crusted to the pan so that you make the best gravy! Dark, dark brown gravy.”

This is what I wrote down over 30 year ago, literally… Funny to read it that way.

Our daughter has to leave Christmas afternoon to be ready for work on December 26th, so we had our dinner today. I am soooo thankful she was able to drive up!

Great Gramma Gini was gifted tickets by my nephew and sister-in-law to go out to Sacramento, California, to their home for Christmas. She was really happy to go as she misses all of her friends (and family!) there. <3 It would have been fun to sit down with Gramma and Granddaughter together… They keep missing each other!

upper left side of our china hutch

I’m sorry I haven’t posted hardly anything this fall! Part of me just wasn’t feeling like writing, though I have a number of unfinished drafts. It’s tougher with my MIL around all of the time. We were off on our own for 34 years so it has been a big change for me. I am used to seeing family only occasionally and not every weekend. A lot of my free time is taken up there and with work, in general, as you know how it is. We did a number of fundraisers here in the fall, too, with the Odd Fellows (IOOF) and Rebekahs. I cannot tell you just how much having these two weeks off from school means! I can finally rest…

Yoda is struggling to get around, too. He has accidents pretty much everyday, and with his doggie Alzheimers, he gets stuck under everything… I’ve spent many an evening carpet cleaning, and getting him out from behind furniture. He paces and I am constantly picking him up off the tile floor in the kitchen. Rest in the evening is rare until he is taken back to bed in our bedroom.

I tried taking him for a walk about two months ago, as it turned into fall around here in North Texas. He just turned his head and wanted to go back home… Sad for all of us, but he still loves his food and tonight he will have leftover roast mixed in. Usually I put in Little Caesar’s chicken and veggies into his Iams Senior kibble for smaller dogs, but today is feasting day!! Btw, he really enjoyed it!

A new glass Santa found on Black Friday at JC Penney for 1/2 price, I think. Middle right of the hutch.

Here is our china hutch

I know this is a mishmash-kind-of-a-post, but since I’ve hardly shared anything all fall, I wanted to at least share a little of what Christmas I did get put out. I didn’t even get all of the stuff cleared off of it. Real life! 🙂

There’s a fun picture frame waiting for tiny gold nails to nail the hanger on it, then I can hang it in the hallway. Some jelly jars for Gramma as she would like to make some peach jam next year. A little fallish gnome I found at Winco while grocery shopping one day….

That picture frame I picked up at a store with the kids when they were down last Christmas (our son, DIL and grandson from South Dakota), and we had gone shopping down by the racetrack.

Or maybe it was found at the mall in Garland… It was Garland.

We had taken Milo to see the aquarium there in the morning, then had lunch and shopping at the mall there. We went to a second outdoor mall down towards Fort Worth later in the late afternoon, then had dinner out before driving home.

Was a fun time that week before Christmas 2021!

centerpiece of the hutch ~ the angel door!

Here in the hutch, I really only swapped out the plates from fall for the brown winter Johnson Bros. set. I added in the seaside photograph I picked up in Grenoble, France, at the little thrift shop I found while out looking for antique stores the Saturday morning before my niece’s wedding.

La Vierge à l’Enfant avec Catherine et un berger, dite La Vierge au Lapin (detail) ~ Tiziano Vecellio dit Titien (vers 1488/1490 – 1576).

I still need to share that adventure. I need to share more from France, too. On the list! 😉

Meanwhile, out in the garden…

I finally finished planting everything except one small boxwood, so I put it in the shed until it warms up next week. When we knew that the freeze was finally coming in, I spent a good 6 hours on Tuesday raking leaves around all of the tender plants and putting mulch around many of them as I could.

On Wednesday morning, as the cold north winds were swirling in, I was busy tarping plants and putting the leaves back over them as I could. The bricks came in handy to hold things down. 🙂

Hubby has almost finished putting up the insulation along the roofline inside the shed, so I’ll share that in the next post, how that is looking. Even down to 9 degrees F/-12.77 Celsius, it stayed at 40 degrees with the little floor heater churning away.

All that insulation I put up a year ago, plus the wood panels over top, the shed is staying pretty warm and cozy. The plants inside all look good. I water them about once a week as they dry out quicker with the heater on full time. On nice days, I shut it off and open the door wide to let air and light inside.

One of my squirrel buddies! He likes walnuts and pecans but not those filberts.

Well, that’s about it, friends! I think I’ve caught you up other than saying I am enjoying working in the library at school. I could do this until I retire in a few years. 🙂

Here’s a little duck from my walk this afternoon… I posted more up in my Stories on Instagram.

Merry Christmas!

Barb 🙂

Christmas, Holidays

Share Your Style #371

Welcome to this week’s Share Your Style #371, dear friends! There are just under two weeks until Christmas, can you believe it? Well, we have many wonderful features for you…

This link party is for home decor, DIY, crafts, recipes and the like, but you are more than welcome to share any of your family-friendly posts with us all. Please feel free to share this post too and join my small but loyal band of friends. I appreciate you! I appreciate your subscribing, also. As always, I am glad that you are here… 💜

I am Barbara Chapman and I’d love it if you’d follow me here on my blog and on any of my other social media sites, too.  Thank you!💜 

French Ethereal: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest

Here’s what I shared this past week at French Ethereal…

Planting Up Pretty Paperwhites ~ A Quick How-To ~ just a short & sweet post trying these bulbs for the first time!

And here are this week’s featured posts…

Penny from Penny’s Treasures paints the town pink in her home this year for the season!
Check out the rest of her ~ Tour of Our Christmas Family Room. Such fun!!!
AWAY IN A MANGER #Jesus #manger #Christmas #StarOfBethlehem #Magi
Grammy Dee from Grammy’s Grid is back with her beautiful Away in a Manger and a song for you! Please stop by and check her very short post out.

Amy from A Day of Small Things shared a walk through A Look Back at Christmas Merry & Bright. Love all these memories!!!
Simple Swedish Meatballs & Shells
Oh my! Christmas time involves lots of special times eating, doesn’t it? Let’s check out this recipe from Estelle from Homemade on a Weeknight ~ Simple Swedish Meatballs & Shells (Pasta). YUM!!!
Debra from Common Ground brings us her shining French Country Christmas Dining Room Part 2. Love the Nativity theme… <3 I think this is my favorite post so far, friends… I love nativities, don’t you?
For a bit of fun… Debbie from Debbie Dabble Blog shared this sweet post ~
A Blue Christmas in the Powder Room, Home Tour 2022. Fun!!!
christmas tree made from mason jar lids
Emily from Hunny I’m Home DIY brings us this fun craft you can easily do with your kids ~ Mason Jar Lid Christmas Tree DIY. Love it!!!
Sparkly fun abounds in this sweet post from Maya at The Little Treasures ~ Decorating with Christmas Baubles. I am blessed to have my grandmother’s old Shiny Brite ornaments and they are fun to display, too! Great ideas!!!

Thank You so much to everyone who linked up this past week. A special thank you to everyone for always promoting Share Your Style on your blog and on your social media channels! I do see it when I stop by and I appreciate the love. 💜

If you’d like to follow my Share Your Style board on Pinterest I’d appreciate it, thank you! I do post all of the featured posts from each week’s SYS there plus usually other photos from those posts to my boards. 💜  Thanks so much!!! If you are new to French Ethereal, I hope you will think about subscribing to my blog.

Big hugs to you all,

Barb 🙂

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Click here to enter
Gardening, Holidays

Planting Up Pretty Paperwhites

Hello friends!! Here is a super quick planting project to brighten your holiday tables and wintertime decor…

I was shopping at Wal-Mart or Sam’s Club a week ago or so, and I found these paperwhites for a good price. I have never bought any before but always saw them on friend’s blog sites ~ both real and faux ~ and I thought I’d give them a try!

How to Plant Pretty Paperwhites

  • First, choose a container/pot to hold your bulbs
  • Line your pot with small pebbles or rocks
  • Mix up very fine soil – I used half regular garden soil and half seed starting soil
  • Moisten your soil and mix thoroughly in a separate container (above photo, top right)
  • Scoop in 1″-2″ of the pre-moisened soil over the pebbles
  • Add in paperwhite bulbs, tucking them close together, shoulders touching
  • Add more soil as needed to cover up to their necks

Clean up the edges of your container and find a nice place to display your potted pretties!!!

Water sparingly as needed throughout winter, then, after the flowers die back in spring, plant outside after all danger of frost has passed.

The packages say that these paperwhites will naturalize in the landscape, so I am thinking I will find a nice place to plant them for next season. 🙂

After Christmas, I will create a nice display here on the library/tea table using these paperwhites. I’ve rarely used this soup tureen for actual soup, but always for decorating, so I am excited to share it here with you!

I am hoping these blooms will stand up straight as they were lying down in their bags for a week or so, and now they look like they are sprouting sideways, ugh!

Do you think they will right themselves?? I appreciate the heads up! (sorry, pun unintended…)

The planting part is easy and it’ll be fun to see how they bloom. Hope you try some in your home, too, this winter!

Happy holiday season to you,

Barb 🙂

Christmas, crafts, Holidays

Share Your Style #370

Welcome to this week’s Share Your Style #370, friends!! This is almost my 200th SYS, surprisingly, ho ho ho!!! We have lots of fun features for you…

This link party is for home decor, DIY, crafts, recipes and the like, but you are more than welcome to share any of your family-friendly posts with us all. Please feel free to share this post too and join my small but loyal band of friends. I appreciate you! I appreciate your subscribing, also. As always, I am glad that you are here… 💜

I am Barbara Chapman and I’d love it if you’d follow me here on my blog and on any of my other social media sites, too.  Thank you!💜 

French Ethereal: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest

Again, welcome! It’s our last couple of weeks in school for the year, and naturally, I am having trouble sleeping… So,tonight’s SYS is getting up rather late (I zonked out on the couch after dinner), but it’ll be up for you, yeah! I am writing my own posts, but nothing is finished…

I did finish painting our office/spare bedroom but need hubby to help put the bed together before I snap a couple of photos for you. Then that post will be done. It looks really nice and open with the new furniture arrangement!

And December feels like it is getting away from me… I have a very quick post I hope to share later this week, so please look for that, thank you!

Now let’s check out … sooooo many good features to share!!!

And here are this week’s featured posts…

No photo description available.
Oh my goodness! Michelle from K’Mich Wedding Events (she also writes a decor blog) shared these incredible Holiday Decorated Pies… Are you as amazed as I am? Wow…
Glittering and warm, Debra from Common Ground brings us a goose here with Christmas Beginnings on the Hearth… Love this!!!
Christmas-holiday-table-tree-napkin-fold-green-white-check
Debbee from Debbee’s Buzz shared this fun tablescape in her post
Bringing Home the Christmas Tree Holiday Table. Lovely!!!
Penny from Penny’s Treasures shared her beautiful all-whites and creams ~
Neutral Nativities. Stunning!!!
embroidered bell bottoms, boho style, print mixing, fall outfit, Shelbee on the Edge
Shelbee from Shelbee on the Edge is having fun with this stylish look ~ How Many Prints is Too Many? Part of her link party! Do link up if you love sharing your fashions!! 😀 Love this skirt!!!
reindeer candy made with pretzel sticks and peanut butter cups.
Sooooo cute!!! Lois from Walking on Sunshine Recipes shares the cutest reindeer in this post ~ Reindeer Candy!!! My kinda project!

This cranberry sauce recipe is delicious and so easy to make.

Alison from Organized Motherhood shares her recipe for The Easiest Cranberry Sauce You’ll Ever Make. YUMMY!!!

How to Organize Holiday Decorations
Newcomer Tracy Lynn from Declutter in Minutes brings a necessary post we can always use ~ How to Store Holiday Decoration. Yep, I need this! How about you? 😉
DIY mason jar christmas decor
Emily from Hunny I’m Home DIY shared an old favorite in her post ~ Easy DIY Mason Jar Decor. Totally cute and great for gift giving!!
A Very Merry and Bright Vintage Christmas Kitchen
Last up for this week, Amber from Follow the Yellow Brick Home shares her beautifully renovated kitchen (finished about a year ago now; you’ll have to check out what it used to look like!) all dressed for the season ~ A Very Merry & Bright Vintage Christmas Kitchen. Sooo cheerful!!!

Thank You so much to everyone who linked up this past week. A special thank you to everyone for always promoting Share Your Style on your blog and on your social media channels! I do see it when I stop by and I appreciate the love. 💜

If you’d like to follow my Share Your Style board on Pinterest I’d appreciate it, thank you! I do post all of the featured posts from each week’s SYS there plus usually other photos from those posts to my boards. 💜  Thanks so much!!! If you are new to French Ethereal, I hope you will think about subscribing to my blog.

Happy holiday hugs to you,

Barb 🙂

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter